When it was time for the Boynton Beach commissioners’ annual evaluation of the city manager, Justin Katz described Lori LaVerriere in a non-traditional way: “The Jason Bourne of city managers.”
For those unfamiliar with the fictional movie character, Katz said the reference was because LaVarriere seemingly “always does the correct thing and always gets work done and succeeds.”
Overall, LaVerriere scored a 4.4 out of 5 on the commissioners’ annual reviews and awarded her a 2 percent salary increase. Her salary is $182,120, said Julie Oldbury, the city’s director of human resources and risk management. The raise is in line with a 2 percent increase for city employees not represented by unions that the commission already approved.
LaVerriere has been city manager since December 2012 and held the job on an interim basis for 18 months.
LaVerriere said she loves her job and surrounds herself with the most competent staff possible.
“You’re a fool as a leader not to surround yourself with the greatest talent you can find,” she said.
Mayor Steven Grant, Commissioners Joe Casello and Katz gave LaVerriere a 5/5 rank. Commissioner Christina Romelus gave a 4, and Vice Mayor Mack McCray gave LaVerriere a 3, according to their evaluations.
Grant said when he was first elected residents asked him how it feels to run the city. But he said the mayor is not the one in charge; it’s the city manager. Grant praised LaVerriere for her ability to act as CEO of the city’s 14 departments to build a better Boynton.
Casello said LaVerriere is an “exceptional leader” and “problem solver” and he values her opinion. Romelus praised LaVerriere for “breeding” staff under her to become successful leaders.
LaVerriere’s criticism came mainly from McCray. He said an assistant city manager she appointed is doing a poor job and added that residents of District 2, which he represents, feel like they are a “step child” and that she is not in touch with their needs.
But resident Herb Suss and former mayors Jerry Taylor and Woodrow Hay praised LaVerriere.
“I don’t know what the heck you guys and ladies would do up there without her,” Suss said.